Natalie, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. Hi, Carrie! Thank you! It’s an honor to be here. I look forward to meeting your readers.
Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
Answer: A few times over the years, I’ve had people I love cut off communication with me and spread untrue things, simply because my family and I try to live by principles taught in the Bible. People who once considered me as close as their own relatives, people I sacrificed for and poured my life into. This is never an easy thing to take. We humans set so much value upon the approval and acceptance of others, especially when we let someone close. As Christians, we tend to anticipate others will behave in the same way which we hope we would in a given situation. When this doesn’t happen, we feel pain, or at the very least confusion. And when someone decides to exit our life instead of lovingly working through disagreements, the feelings of rejection become reality. The easy path for me was to wonder if my investment was a waste of time. Even greater was the danger of letting the hurt turn to bitterness. It takes time and effort, but God can help us overcome, even after events like these.
What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times? I Peter 2:19-20 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:44b Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty? First, I had to remember that Jesus also suffered for good and truth. Knowing that he endured far more than I gave me comfort and brought a deeper fellowship with Him. Secondly, I had to acknowledge that we’re all fallibly human. Even as Christians, we’re at different places in our walk with Christ. This can cause conflict when some hold to their own traditions or opinions more than God’s word. Instead of becoming bitter, I had to learn to pray for these people out of a heart of love and ask God to continue His work in them while simultaneously asking Him to help me be where I needed to be in my thoughts, feelings, and words about them. Thirdly, God encouraged me through quality time with my family and other friends, and we grew closer by working through the struggle using God’s truths. And finally, thankfulness. This has been vital for me. Specifically, thanking God for this opportunity to show His love, for the blessing of those friendships while they lasted, for my deepened relationships with God, family, and other friends, and for the chance to eventually encourage people in similar situations. The Bible commands thankfulness and praise (Ephesians 5:19-20; I Thessalonians 5:18; Colossians 3:15) and for good reason. Getting our minds into the thankfulness pattern improves our feelings and interactions with others. An easy way to practice gratefulness is to keep a small journal beside your bed (many writers do this anyway) and, first thing in the morning, write ten things you’re grateful for. Doesn’t take long. Some days I just thank God for sunshine and breath and the ability to walk and speak. Coffee and giggles and chicken salad. Writing my ten things never fails to make me smile.
Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? I don’t believe Barbour has this collection in audio or large print. This is my debut work, but in the future, I hope to have books on audio and with large print.
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation? In my novella, For Richer or Poorer, the hero works to rebuild his failed relationships and reputation after he let bitterness produce unwise decisions in his past. He learns the value of faithfulness, perseverance, and starting now to build his future testimony. He also learns that those who hurt him are often driven by their own pain. The heroine learns to lean into thankfulness during a time of testing.
Question you’d like to ask readers: Was there a time in your life when thankfulness helped cheer you and keep you going? What are some practical ways you remember to be thankful?
Natalie Monk is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. A preacher’s daughter from North Mississippi, Natalie loves porch swings, old movies, and meeting readers through her website: www.nataliemonk.com.
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Book blurb for For Richer or Poorer novella:
In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant and housemaid Marcella Lipski must marry wealth…so she dons her employer's discarded ball gowns and goes husband hunting at Newark's tourist spots. There's just one problem. Ella can't speak a speck of English. She considers herself blessed to secure free English lessons from a poor-but-mysterious cart driver—until she loses her heart in the process.
Book blurb for Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection:
Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed.
CFP: NATALIE, MAY GOD BLESS YOU ON YOUR DEBUT AND WITH YOUR WRITING!!!
Giveaway: Natalie is giving away a paperback copy of the Of Rags and Riches Collection. U.S. entrants only, please.